25 Comments
May 14·edited May 14Liked by Tom Hayden

Here's the issue/concern I have with any of these types of speakers. I send my kids to Catholic schools therefore it's not surprising to me that Catholic values are espoused. It's a choice I'm making as a parent.

When we bring in speakers to public schools that are delving into these topics, who is deciding what should be prioritized or if everyone agrees with the conclusions being drawn?

It's not exactly the same, but when I hear extreme right wing folks advocate for prayer in school, I say great, how do you feel about Islam? It's the fastest growing religion in the world.

Quite frankly, based on the local reporting I've seen there seems to be a lot of room for improvement on the academic front and it seems focusing on the academic essentials should be a school's funding priority.

Public schools are called to educate our children, not dive into cultural wars. This seems to get lost a lot in Evanston.

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May 15·edited May 15Liked by Tom Hayden

Full disclosure: for me the primary (singular?) purpose of a school is the sharing of academic knowledge and the learning process between teacher and student. I say this as a public high school classroom teacher for close to 30 years.

So, with that in mind if ETHS can justify that hiring this speaker, or any speaker for that matter, will advance the academic growth of its students, then invite them in. However, they also need to provide some sort of objective and ongoing evidence that the speaker has in fact improved academic learning.

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And that the speaker is qualified!

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This!

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May 15Liked by Tom Hayden

I don’t have kids at ETHS. Sent them to Loyola as a Covid decision though I spent 9 years in Catholic school and vowed I would never repeat that mistake. That said, as a life long liberal and someone who saw racism impact my family (my brother was adopted in a very white family in a very white town), I am so disgusted by this guy. He is like the shock jock of DEI. I would much rather my kids learn the virtues of a Jesuit education and listen to the amazing and sometimes difficult stories of their classmates, teachers and staff than watch some narcissist anti-Semite get rich off a public school system. All people like this do is create so much more division that we don’t need while profit handsomely off a naive taxpayer base. Still waiting for ETHS to put as much time into academics as they do politics.

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Terrell is bad news. I showed up to one of his sessions for parents a couple years ago. The guy indulges in theories about “levels of whiteness”. And guess who the worst white people are – the Jews! And Terrell says that Black people can’t be racists. He didn’t like it when I asked him about Louis Farrakhan. Other people in the audience asked him questions about his theories – and he didn’t like that either. He went on Facebook the next day, stood in front of the B’hai temple, told everyone how full of love and joy he was, and then called us evil and the devil. He claimed that we “attacked” him for simply asking questions. Several of his acolytes then took pictures of us and posted them on Facebook trying to get the community to out us as horrible racists simply because we weren’t drinking the Kool Aid.

ETHS has all of the Freshmen attend his lecture every year. He makes some Freshmen cry during his presentations, and they need to hire extra mental health professionals to stand by when he gives his speeches. It’s a bunch of mumbo-jumbo race-essentialist BS with absolutely no numbers or data to support it. The guy is a charlatan who is laughing all the way to the bank – and it’s sad that some students and teachers at ETHS eat it up. The ones who don’t are afraid to speak up.

One bit of good news - if you don’t want your incoming Freshman to sit though this, you can keep them at home without penalty – which is what I did for my Freshman last year. Just be sure to call and get them an excused absence.

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May 16Liked by Tom Hayden

I have thought about how to respond to this latest sub stack for a few days now. My middle daughter, a current junior, heard Calvin Terrell for Career Day in October 2021 just after schools fully opened from Covid--when things seemed to be 'back on track' and when she was a freshman at ETHS. In the following month after his presentation she started opening up a bit each day when I asked her about it. I asked her about it because our older daughter also saw Terrell as a freshman and we subsequently had to have a long conversation about it then and topics in his presentation.

Our current ETHS daughter opened up and said that she 'tuned him out' early in his presentation because she was disgusted. When I asked what was so disgusting she said he used the "R' word and "N" word. Later that day she confided that he used the "F" word and then she said he used the "C" word. I was aghast. When I asked her to clarify what the exact words he used were she was mortified at having to repeat them. They were all racial slurs and it hit home because she is mixed race. Terrell became a topic over the next month because she revealed a little bit more each day, on her own accord.

In addition to Terrell using racial slurs he talked to them about Proud Boys, gangs and went into discussion of a gang initiation of "smily's"; when one member takes the back of the head of another member and smashes their jaw/teeth into a curb breaking both. Our daughter felt shock and horror thinking of the images Terrell vividly discussed. When I received a call from the dean a month after Terrells presentation regarding an upperclassman showing inappropriate videos on his phone and calling classmates racial slurs in a foreign language class the dean and I discussed Terrell. I pointedly asked the dean why someone would be hired by ETHS to give a presentation to freshman during career day, especially if counselors were going to be present in case students had questions/issues--he had no answer.

What is Terrell's background? What makes him an "expert"? According to LinkedIn he was a teacher for a year and 3 months. Is that his "expertise"? His Biography on his website is rambling over all his awards...which mean little as far as qualifications.

My freshman had just turned 14. 14 Years old and she is subjected to this at a public high school. This was Career Day; couldn't they talk about different options to think about during their high school tenure such as options such as colleges, vocational and technical jobs, the military or going straight into the workforce? Couldn't they have done a career/job assessment? Anything toward preparing freshman for academics, getting help when needed, asking questions and advocating for themselves. ANYTHING OTHER THAN SUBJECTING 14 YEAR OLDS TO THIS? It's as if I paid (through my tax money) to have her abused. The day after Terrell's presentation to students and parents this "disciple/pastor/virtue warrior" went To the Baha'i Temple and said he "danced with the devil" regarding presenting to parents and being questioned about his ideology. In this video and also others on his Facebook page he panned the ETHS auditorium--did my photo release cover him videotaping my child and posting it to his social media? Did other parents agree to his posting a video of their children? How can he say, "I love you" to ETHS students when he traumatizes them? This is from a speaker that we have paid through taxes, who seems to have no true qualifications and is asked back year after year...for what reason other than to intimidate 14 year old freshman on "Career Day". Wrong time, wrong place, wrong person, wrong message and all it does is create more division, racial tension and division within our community.

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author

Dang these comments are really enlightening

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Perhaps Tom you have to rethink what you watch/listen to. Your graphs etc are usually spot on but you have failed to take on this charlatan

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May 17Liked by Tom Hayden

That seems a bit draconian. I know plenty of adults who use very colorful language with other adults but who tone it down when kids are present. I looked a bit at this guy's Instagram and, while he has some pretty extreme views, there is a decent message to a lot of the stuff. As an adult I would feel capable of reading this stuff online without feeling compelled to subscribe to all his theories. He lost me on that Ted talk that Tom linked though. I've never heard him talk (or even heard of him) before this post but, given the comments here, I will think long and hard before letting my kids attend a lecture of his when (if) the time comes.

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author

You win some you lose some!

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This is terrible. What in the world is going on here???!

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I have no trouble when Mr Fred Rogers said “ I like you just the way you are” to his audience of 3,4 and 5 year olds. However I cringe when Mr Terrell tells his audience of 14, 15 and 16 year olds “I love you”

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author

😬😬😬😬😬😬😬😬

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May 16Liked by Tom Hayden

Tom, thanks for sharing your perspective. It definitely stirs the pot a bit here. I think having speakers like this gentleman at schools needs to be put in context with differing perspectives or overtly made optional. I went to New Trier in the 90s and from time to time there were speaker series that were 100% optional and designed to expose students to different ideas rather than solely educate. One I remember was on religion. Leaders from many different faiths spoke briefly over the course of a two days explaining their religions but not to proselytize. There was everything from Buddhism to Jews for Jesus I remember being exposed to humanism (not technically a religion of course) for the first time. Let’s give young adults a chance to learn how to think by exposing them to multiple perspectives and ideas. I’m unsure if this a core value of “progressive education” school board members and administrators often boast about.

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author

Couldn’t agree more!!

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Sure - different perspectives are great. Right now, Career Day for ETHS Freshmen has two options: 3 hours with Terrell or go home.

If ETHS insists on bringing Terrell back, put other speakers on the podium with him who have different perspectives on race and religion. I don’t think Terrell would like that very much because his ideas won’t withstand ANY sort of intelligent scrutiny. Career Day for the Freshmen as it’s currently structured is a disaster. It’s a weird messed-up form of indoctrination. It’s not educational at all.

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I didn’t appreciate how much his real life seems to differ from his social media and brand persona…

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That does sound like a totally messed up situation! This is the problem with equity, as opposed to equality. Free speech usually goes out the window. You’re right that ultimately we’re doing kids a disservice.

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In other news have you heard that the beloved Chute principal is basically being forced into early retirement? Saw a post on Facebook from someone who seems to know all the details

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Feel free to have them email me details: tom@foiagras.com

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Oh no! Mr. Mac is an incredible leader.

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Terrell headlines Career Day at ETHS & as a previous poster indicated —parents can opt out this kids. Don’t hesitate to do so. Others will eventually post here @ his “career advice.” Funny that ETHS administration, for Career Day, need to bring in extra support and social workers due to the topics covered. Things that make you go hmmmm.

I’m not sure he still does a parent talk but at one of those (at ETHS) he claimed that “there’s a moral way to live your life and a white way.” He also extrapolated that there were five houses of whiteness and that one of those “houses” was the White Jew.

So yeah —he can say he loves people all he wants. He can talk about “do history better” (an idea I agree with by the way) all he wants. None of this changes that he’s at minimum misguided and at maximum a grifter, bigot and antisemite. Seriously, none of this is ok.

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And our tax payer $$ pay for him to come to our town and “educate” our kids.

To me one thing is obvious: Evanston can do better.

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